Sunday, March 13, 2022

Thirty-Five Killed as Russia Strikes Ukraine Military Base Near Polish Border (VIDEO)

War is hell. Bloody fucking hell.

At WSJ, "Russian Missiles Strike Ukrainian Military Training Base Near Polish Border":

Attack kills at least 35 and increases risk of war encroaching on NATO territory, after Moscow says arms shipments to Kyiv won’t be tolerated.

A Russian airstrike on a Ukrainian military training center close to the Polish border threw into sharp relief the hazards of the Western push to deliver arms support to Kyiv while avoiding direct conflict with a nuclear adversary.

The airstrike killed 35 people at the facility in Yavoriv about 10 miles from the Polish border early Sunday, far to the west of where the conflict has been concentrated, one day after Moscow warned the West that it would consider arms deliveries to Ukraine as legitimate targets.

A large portion of the military aid from the West—one of the largest transfers of arms in history—passes through Poland into western Ukraine, part of the fine line the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, allies are walking between aiding Ukraine militarily while steering clear of providing troops or enforcing a no-fly zone that Ukraine has called for.

The expansion of Russia’s aggression to a target close to Poland also increases the risk of the war encroaching on NATO territory, which the U.S. has warned would be treated as an attack on the alliance. Any strike on Poland would bring “the full force of the NATO alliance to bear in responding to it,” Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, said in an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said more attacks aimed at supply lines and foreign mercenaries supporting Ukraine were in the offing. Armaments supplied to Ukraine by the U.S. and its European allies—especially antitank and antiaircraft weapons—have played an important role in checking the advance of Russian ground troops, who have suffered heavy casualties in the north as they have tried to encircle the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that military aid alone might not be enough to enable Ukraine to fight off Russia’s invasion, and has made increasingly urgent calls for a no-fly zone that would protect the supplies entering the country and the refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.

The U.S. and its European allies have said a no-fly zone that involved other countries’ air forces risks escalating the conflict because it would only be effective if it were empowered to deter Russian planes. The U.S. also last week declined to support a Polish plan to give the U.S. Soviet-built MiG-29 combat jets after the U.S. had broached the prospect of Poland supplying the planes directly to Ukraine.

While the West aids Ukraine, Russia has asked China for military equipment and other assistance for its war effort, according to U.S. officials, who didn’t specify what Russia had requested.

News of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for help from Beijing, first reported by the Washington Post, comes as Mr. Sullivan heads to Rome on Monday to meet with a top Chinese official to discuss Ukraine.

Mr. Sullivan spoke on CNN on Sunday of the growing concern inside the Biden administration that Russia might be looking for help in the conflict, though he didn’t acknowledge a specific request from Russia to China.

“We are also watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support, material support or economic support, to Russia,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It is a concern of ours, and we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions.”

In addition to supplying arms, the Biden administration and its allies have shared intelligence with Kyiv and inflicted sweeping economic sanctions against Russia. But they are facing calls from some quarters to do more...